Rainham MP calls maternity closure “harsh blow” for local healthcare

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham

Jon Cruddas MP for Dagenham and Rainham - Credit: Archant

Dagenham and Rainham’s MP has described this Thursday’s closure of the maternity unit at King George Hospital as a “harsh blow” to local healthcare.

King George Hospital's labour unit has been under threat of closure for years

King George Hospital's labour unit has been under threat of closure for years - Credit: Archant

The board of NHS North East London and the City (NELC) today made the final decision to stop all births at the Goodmayes hospital, at meeting in Ilford last week.

The closure means women will give birth at surrounding hospitals, including Queen’s, instead.

Jon Cruddas has been a long term opponent of the plans.

He said: “Over the course of my campaign to save King George’s maternity ward I have heard the fears and concerns of local residents at great length; this decision will come as a harsh blow to our local health provisions in both Dagenham and Havering.

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“The latest CQC report highlighted that maternity services at Queen’s have greatly improved, however the hospital is still operating over capacity and understaffed in many other areas.”

He added: “The closure of services at King George’s will do nothing to alleviate the strain at Queen’s and could affect the level of care that local residents receive. I will continue to do all I can, and campaign to stop further closures to services at King George’s Hospital.”

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Alwen Williams, chief executive of NHS North East London and the City, said: “We are making changes to maternity services so that all local women get the safe, high-quality service they deserve at all local hospitals.

“We have put care at the heart of these changes and we have only made the decision to move forward with the change to maternity services at King George Hospital once local clinicians and the external experts have confirmed that it is safe to do so.”

See the related link, right, for more on the issue.

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